Nicely Made in China

China news on quality products, lifestyle, design and services.

OZARK – OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT

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If, having read last week’s article on travel company Global Nomad, you decided to go trekking, you may find you need some of the equipment produced by today’s guest, Swiss-born Hans Schallenberger! Nicely Made in China (NMiC) has found the perfect brand for you. Started 15 years ago but still barely known beyond China, Ozark [website in Chinese] sells outdoor gear exclusively to the Chinese market. NMiC talked to Mr Schallenberger, Ozark’s founder and managing director, to discover what has made the brand such a success story. Read the rest of this entry »

LONGMA EQUESTRIAN PRODUCTS

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In its never ending search for quality products made in China, Nicely Made in China met Nicole Bernard, the owner of Longma, an Australia-based equestrian equipment company that makes all its products in China. From Tennessee where she was born, to Alvie (pop.60) near Melbourne, via Beijing where she spends half of her time, Nicole has traveled a long way. She stopped by at the Bookworm in Beijing to talk about her passions for China and horses, and how these two passions recently became intertwined.

Nicole, can you tell us how you started Longma?

A year or so ago my riding coach -Chris Smith 1980 Australian Olympic show jumping rider- came to visit me in Beijing- , and while discussing the equestrian market in Australia we realized it is bipolar: you either find very high end and very expensive gear or cheap junk. Horse riding is called the sport of kings and it is an expensive hobby. People who spend a lot of money on a horse care about what they put on their horses’ backs. I thought that hard-working people who love riding deserved high quality equipment at decent prices and that’s what Longma has been trying to provide for a year now. While I will not compare Longma with Australian master saddle makers, I can say that we’re trying to achieve a level of quality that these people respect.

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ARK SURFBOARDS

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After the coast of Fujian, Nicely Made in China takes you to the South China Sea to meet Adam Healy one of the two owners of Benpat International. Based in Shek-O on the South-East coast of Hong Kong Island, Benpat makes quality surfboards -as well as kiteboards, skateboards, nipper boards and stand-up paddle boards- all made in China and sells them all over the world. Adam, 26, is Australian and was raised in Hong Kong. He sat with NMiC and explained how surfboards are made.

Adam, can you give us some information about your company?

Benpat International was created in 1990 by John Patkin and I came onboard in 2008. Most of our production is for exports, mainly to Australia, the UK and the US.

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XIAMEN RED DRAGON YACHT BUILDING

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It’s summer, and to get away from the heat in Beijing, Nicely Made in China felt like dipping a toe in the sea. That’s how NMiC landed in Xiamen, Fujian province, to interview Ms Liu Hongyan, Red Dragon Yacht Building general manager, to discuss sails, carbon fiber rudders and the new Chinese consumers who are boosting the recreational marine economy.

Ms Liu, when was the company created?

The company was created in 2003 by Mr David Winter who had long experience in the marine industry working for Taiwanese shipyards. When he arrived in Xiamen in 2001 he was surprised to see no recreational boats at all.  That’s why he decided to build a small sailing boat for the Chinese market. A few months later the D5.8 – a reference to the boat’s length – was born.  He found a shipyard to build it and when that shipyard did not want to build it anymore, David decided to make it himself, creating Red Dragon Yacht Building.  We are today what is called a contract builder or an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). Clients from all over the world, like Scandinavian Cruisers, come to us with their design and we build the boats.

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CHIRU MOUNTAIN BIKES

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Nicely Made In China product of the week is a bike. Not your everyday bike! A carbon mountain bike!

NMIC has asked a few questions to Chiru endurance bikes CEO Pierre-Arnaud Le Magnan.

Pierre-Arnaud when and why did you start Chiru Endurance Bikes?

We started in February 2009. We make mountain bikes exclusively and only made of carbon. It is a product specially designed for endurance races and adventure racing. The reason I started this company stems out of a passion for bicycle making. I had been building my own bikes for Read the rest of this entry »